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How to Pick the Right Health Insurance Plan for Parents/Senior Citizens
02 November 2020
Health insurance policies offer many options based on the type of clientele. Family floater plans are offered for those with a family, and for those who are living by themselves or do not have anyone dependent on them, individual health insurance plans are available. On first instinct, one might be likely to involve their parents in the same family health insurance plan. Most experts, however, would recommend otherwise. This is due to a couple of reasons, including the fact that premiums depend on the age and health condition of the older member, along with their propensity to consume the majority of the cover in the case of an illness, leaving little for the rest of the family. Alternatively, the most preferred solution is to exclude senior citizens from the family floater health insurance plan and provide them with a senior citizen health policy of their own, as it will help eliminate the aforementioned problems.
What is Senior Citizen Health Insurance?
Senior citizen health insurance is a health insurance plan tailored specifically to the needs of individuals who are above the age of sixty. Due to their age, they possess a higher risk of contracting illnesses and might require more treatment than those who are of a younger age and who are in a better health condition. Insurers perceive this as an increased risk for them, and therefore offer different terms when compared to other health insurance plans. The premiums for health insurance for senior citizens are also likely to be higher due to the perceived risks. Some insurers might also offer senior citizen health insurance only on a co-pay basis wherein in the event that the individual is diagnosed with an illness, the insurance company will cover only a part percentage of the costs, while the insured has to account for the remaining percentage.
In order to ensure the best medical care whilst taking care of senior citizen’s health or parent’s health, it is essential that we pick the right health plan to best fit their medical needs. Here are some factors to consider while purchasing health insurance for parents.
Factors to consider while purchasing a Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policy:
Age is a factor that is stringently taken into account by insurers whilst providing health insurance for senior citizens and should therefore be given consideration while investing in health insurance as well. Given the older age of senior citizens, it is recommended that one opt for a plan that offers maximum coverage for the longest time. Additionally, given that a health insurance policy cannot be extended past the age of 80, it would also be a smart decision to purchase a new policy post the age of 80 in order for the policy to ensure we are taking care of senior citizen’s health. It is important to find a plan that has a higher age of entry ranging from 60-80 years of age.
Given senior citizens' increased risk of contracting various diseases or illnesses, insurance companies introduce the concept of co-pay in senior citizen Mediclaim policies. Copay mandates that upon requiring treatment, the health insurance company will only cover some percentage of the payment, while the family has to account for the rest. It is essential to study any copay clauses beforehand in order to avoid any surprises later on.
3. Minimize Exclusions
Senior citizens are more prone to falling sick due to a multitude of reasons and are exposed to more illnesses and threats than a younger individual. As a result, one must ensure that their plan makes minimum exclusions in terms of coverage and is prepped to provide cover for any illnesses that arise, ensuring they are already, previously accounted for.
4. Sub Limits
Sub Limits are generally looked at with much skepticism by policyholders, as they are generally predisposed to bringing up costs at the last-minute unknown to the policyholder at the time of purchase. A sub limit essentially implies that while the health insurance plan offers cover for a certain aspect of healthcare (example, room charges), there is a daily limit on the amount. For instance, the policy might cover room charges but might only allow for 4000 rupees per day. This would mean that the policyholder has to account for any additional daily charges. One must ensure that a policy has minimal to no sub-limits, as it will ensure that they will receive the cover they need, when they need it.
5. Claim to settlement ratio
One of the most essential aspects of any health insurance policy, including medical insurance for senior citizens, is the claim to settlement ratio. This value represents the likelihood of your insurance company accepting your request to avail of your cover, as it represents the percentage of claims filed compared to the percentage of claims accepted. Generally, any health insurance plan for senior citizens with a claim settlement ratio of less than 80-90% is recommended against.
The health of our parents/senior citizens is of utmost importance, especially during the Covid pandemic to which they are more susceptible. It is therefore critical that they are provided with the right type of senior citizen Mediclaim policy that will ensure there are no hiccups or gaps in their treatment in the event that they do contract an illness and that the benefits of health insurance plans are maximised.